Claire shares her experience of having a home birth and how much it meant to her and her family
I had planned to have a homebirth with my first baby (now 3.5 years old) but it didn’t work out, so it was a tricky and last-minute decision to try again second time round, but I’m so glad I did.
My contractions started around 5pm in the afternoon but as I was only 38+5 I wasn’t sure if it was just false labour, so I carried on the evening as normal, having dinner and putting my daughter to bed.
I rang the homebirth team around 8pm and asked for someone to come out and take a look. I felt like I was managing fine and still wasn’t convinced I was in labour as timings seemed a little sporadic. I headed off to a warm bath to rest. Sophie from the homebirth team arrived around 9pm and after a quick check she told me that I was around 6cm dilated and that she was going to ask my husband to start filling the birth pool. That got him moving fairly fast and I also called my sister to let her know what was going on as she was also coming to help.
I spent the next hour in bed breathing, listening to my hypnobirthing CD and using the TENS machine – everything felt totally manageable. At around 10pm I moved into the pool and the second midwife, Emily arrived. Things were getting a little more intense but I still felt very happy and in control. Around 11pm things really started to kick up a gear and I was listening to the hypnobirthing CD on repeat and forcing everyone to rub my back through each contraction! At 12.50am Stanley was born calmly into the water. We spent the next couple of hours doing skin to skin and feeding before being helped up to bed with a cup of tea.
It was so fantastic to be in my own space and feeling really relaxed. My daughter slept through the whole thing and woke up to her little brother in the morning. I can’t say enough how great the midwives were – they really let me do my thing but provided a reassuring presence and helped to sort us all out afterwards. I’m so glad I chose to have a homebirth and I wish everyone could have such a great birth experience (wherever it happens!).